Hertford came to Woollhams full of hope of doing the double over us this season. We had different ideas…The Grizzlies team this season has suffered a catalogue of injuries to key players. Luckily we have a good pool of players and some fantastic colts coming through who wanted a taste of senior Rugby.
On another cold wet January afternoon the Grizzlies got the first score. Our second row Stephen Sugrue picked the ball up in midfield and showed a great turn of pace as he ran in a great breakaway try. Robin Bye converted. 7-0.
Hertford renowned for their big experienced pack were always going to be a challenge at the set piece but the Grizzlies held their own in a niggly match that was reffed and controlled excellently by Harry Harrison. Their main threat was to keep the ball in the forwards and rumble it forward. Great defence from our pack meant they had little success with this. Luke Driscoll was have a great game at 8 picking the ball up and making ground every time he did so.
For our colt openside flanker James Naylor who was having his first ever senior game, it was a baptism of fire. But he played out of his skin, tackled everything, was making a nuisance of himself at the Hertford breakdown. He carried really well with ball in hand and more than showed he could play at senior level.
The game was being played at quite a pace and once we had the ball in hand our back line were running some great lines. A new look Centre pairing of Ali Slaughter and Ade McConney found holes in the Hertford defensive line. Ade made a barn storming run, booming his way through the Hertford backline before finally being stopped. Our other colt playing Lewis Butterworth has had several run outs this with us season, was commanding at 15. He had great vision and organisation of the back line and he made some great counterattacking runs and fantastic last ditch try stopping tackles.Tawanda on one wing was his usual pacey self and made some good runs. Darren Coley on the other wing busy as always in attack and defence saw his chance to score and ran in a great individual try before half time. 12-0.
Hertford replied with a try of their own with some powerful forward play that released their backline just before halftime. 12-7. Half time.
Changes were made at half time as Mick Foley joined the backline. Foley come on and his impact was instant as he scored a fantastic try weaving in and out of the Hertford defence before finally crossing the line. Robin Bye kicked the conversion.19-7
As the Hertford defence started to tire Ade finally took a ball at inside centre and powered his way through to pick up a try. Robbie Nicolaou kicked the conversion and the match ended 26-7.
“MoM” went to James Naylor who for his first ever senior game did extremely well. He scrummaged well. Was quickly at the break down contesting for the ball. Tackled anything that moved and ran with some great lines.
“Chris of the Day” goes to Darren Ead who unusually only said one swear word all match but he alas managed to say it 58 times without taking breath after his opposite number “accidentally” trod on him.
Very proud of how the boys are playing at the moment and look forward to or next league match on the 17th Feb when we visit Royston 2XVs at there place.
|Old Albanian Sports Club, 160 Harpenden Rd, St Albans AL3 6BB, UK|